Content warning… Sorry for all the F bombs. There isn’t a better way to explain my point, I hope you’ll forgive me.

I was talking with a friend about ‘giving a fuck’ or not. She made the point that we only have so many fucks to give, and that has stuck with me ever since, because it’s so true. We have a finite number of fucks to give, but it’s up to us to decide how we spend them. Now let me clarify: in my head, things you care about and things you give your fucks to are different.

I CARE that I don’t look like myself at this point in time, but I give no fucks about it. What I do give a fuck about is that it’s going to come back, and for now it’s just the last, lingering trace of this terrible thing I can’t wait to leave behind.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be something big, either. For example, I assist with stroke research in a lab at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in downtown Charleston. Before I realized that it was just the nature of research in general, I felt like I was CONSTANTLY screwing up. I would observe my mentor doing something, take detailed notes, go home and copy them into a different notebook, then read over them before I went in to lab. Even though I was just feeling like a noob among all these brilliant scientists, I was making noob mistakes and it was so stressful. I still mess up plenty, but I have very VERY patient mentors to help me grow.

This is something I give a fuck about. Not only because it’s cool as shit, but because it’s a very unique challenge for me. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a problem-solver. I get that from my mom. Stroke left me half-paralyzed? Figure out how to walk again. Unhappy with my grades? Study harder (and smarter). A boy bumming me out? Bye. Me being a total research neophyte was a problem that couldn’t be solved any other way than just experience. I was going to just have to ride out this awkward learning stage. I don’t feel like I’m out of it yet, but maybe that’s for the best. Maybe my fear of screwing up will keep me good. I’ll keep you posted.

I won’t implode if I do fail, but it’s never comfortable for anyone and I would most definitely like to avoid it as much as possible. All I’m saying is, don’t let something stupid take one of your fucks. YOU are the master of your fucks. Give them to the things in your life that truly deserve them, and let the rest roll off your back. It’s all gravy.

Also, if anyone is curious, my lab’s website (https://shihlab.mystagingwebsite.com/) explains the stuff we research much better than I dare even try.

ALSO also, I realize that this post plays off of the point of the book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

2 thoughts on “Giving a F*ck (or not)

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